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  • Helen Gramotnev


It is always a treat to experience the full power of the organ. The opening performance of the 2021 Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Maestro series, Enigma, uses the organ not just in one, but all three of the pieces in the program!

Opening the show is Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C Minor (BWV 546). The prelude by the brass section of the orchestra pave way for the organ’s mighty take-over in the fugue. After being deprived of hearing live classical music in the pandemic for most of last year, seeing musicians onstage is a treat, and opening with Bach’s organ composition is a triumphant come back.

The program follows on with Francis Poulenc’s only organ concerto – a testament to Poulenc as a composer, who studied the compositions of J.S. Bach and Dieterich Buxtehude in preparation for writing this concerto. There is something magical about one man playing this lion of instruments, and Joseph Nolan demonstrates the control of the Concert Hall’s magnificent organ from the beginning to the end.

And finally, Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations—a jewel of British classical music. Each of the fourteen variations dedicated to various people in Elgar’s life shine with a different personality. The composer obviously had a sense of humour, dedicating one of the variations to his bulldog!

This is a great start to the 2021 Queensland Symphony Orchestra Maestro series, and you can find the complete list of this year’s concerts on the Queensland Symphony Orchestra website.

Photography by Peter Wallis.


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